Summary: 1. introduction. – 2. Violation of the War Laws and Customs is the Most Common Crime during the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. – 3. Liability Mechanisms for War Crimes Committed in Ukraine. – 3.1. Prejudicial decisions of international courts. – 3.2. Methods for bringing Russia to justice. – 4. Conclusions.
Ukrainian law enforcement agencies are investigating more than 18,000 war crimes and crimes of aggression, including 18,177 violations of the laws and customs of war, more than 5,000 murders and 6,000 civilian injuries, and about 23,000 destructions of civilian infrastructure. We note these figures without considering the number of crimes committed in the occupied territories and the places of active hostilities. The number of crimes increases every day.
War crimes are a type of international crime, along with the crime of aggression, crimes against humanity, and genocide, which russia is committing in Ukraine. However, in the article’s title, the term ‘war crimes’ is used in a unifying context.
The researchers outline the range of war crimes and note the lack of systematisation due to the non-ratification of the Rome Statute by Ukraine, which significantly complicates the qualification of crimes for practicing lawyers. The authors then analyse such mechanisms of bringing the military, officers, and officials of russia to justice as: а) the International Criminal Court (ICC), b) ad hoc tribunals, с) the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), d) national judicial systems on the principle of universal jurisdiction e) criminal proceedings of Ukraine, f) eclectic forms of cooperation of justice bodies of Ukraine with foreign and international partners, together with the chronology of the first steps for each. The rationality of the establishment of a special international ad hoc tribunal exists because of the duration of the proceedings in the IСС, the ІСС workload and lack of funding, and the non-extension of the ICC jurisdiction to the crime of aggression due to Ukraine’s non-ratification of the Rome Statute; ensuring the impartiality of the court in the eyes of the international community.
The authors draw the attention of the Ukrainian legislator to the need to improve the logistics of using foreign forensic experts’ opinions in criminal proceedings on war crimes in Ukraine by amending the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) on the procedure for its verification as sources of evidence.
The research methodology includes logical, historical, statistical, comparative law, and system-structural methods. The information base consisted of international legal acts, national legislation, official resources of authorities and international institutions, and other open data.
Ed.: AJEE supports the author's decision of titling the territory of the state aggressor 'russia' during the period of unjustified invasion of Ukraine.